About Us

Community Building Initiative (CBI) is a nonprofit organization established in 1997 by government and civic leaders to achieve racial and ethnic inclusion and equity in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. In Fall 2011, after two years of thoughtful deliberations, CBI leadership approved a broadened and deepened mission. While race and ethnicity remain a core programmatic focus, CBI is expanding its work to include other aspects of diversity such as gender, religion, sexual orientation and socio-economic class/economic status. In addition, because of the urgency of the growing economic divide which disproportionally impacts communities of color, CBI will also deepen and strengthen its commitment and capacity to address the fundamental matter of equity.

Our Vision

To achieve inclusion and equity in our community 

Our Mission

To intensify the commitment and increase the capacity of individuals and organizations to build a more inclusive and equitable community.

Our Core Values                    

Inclusion Values

  • CBI believes the Charlotte Mecklenburg community will be at its best when all individuals and identity groups are valued and treated with respect.  

Identity groups are composed of individuals who share common characteristics such as race, economic status, sexual orientation, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, ethnicity, religious background, or physical ability.

  • Charlotte Mecklenburg will be inclusive when all individuals and identity groups feel welcomed and are welcomed to participate fully in the political, legal, social and cultural life of this community. 


Equity Values

  • CBI believes our community will be equitable when all individuals and identity groups have equal rights under the law, access to livelihood, education, healthcare, and other resources and when life outcomes are not predictable on the basis of identity.
  • CBI recognizes that historical and contemporary power structures have created disproportionate opportunities and barriers, at times over-advantaging some identities and under-advantaging others.  We are committed to engaging and transforming individuals and organizations that are knowingly, or unknowingly, perpetuating these inequitable power structures. 


CBI believes these inclusion and equity values make common sense, business sense and moral sense, and we are committed to these ideals for the benefit of this generation and generations to come.


Our Values in Action

  • CBI makes connections across difference to raise awareness and equips people with skills to inspire response and action.
  • CBI partners with individuals and organizations to provide a platform to grapple with timely and significant issues relating to access, equity and inclusion.
  • CBI offers expertise in community engagement, dialogue and leadership and organizational development to bridge differences in our community, transform power structures that perpetuate exclusion and inequity and create pathways for greater inclusion and equity in our community.
  • Finally, CBI recognizes that there may be situations that call for a heightened public response in order to be true to our mission and core values.  Certain cases of systemic or institutional exclusion, denial of legal rights, or perpetuation of inequity may demand that CBI speak out or convene a special forum or take other actions including resolutions, letters to newspapers or other media, speaking out at public meetings or other communiques. 


About Our Logo

The CBI logo consists of three elliptical graphic elements bounded by a rectangular field and appearing with the words Community Building Initiative.

The logo was developed during the last quarter of 2001 to replace the "Something Has Begun" logo used since 1997 for the original Community Building Task Force conference. CBI volunteers Andy Calhoun (YMCA), Lovett Epps (Duke Energy) and Gerald Johnson (The Charlotte Post) worked closely with local designer Adam Roth and CBI Executive Director Dianne English to develop the logo as a part of CBI's new communications plan.

English says, "In the new logo, some people see waves, some see ripples or steps. The imagery is intended to represent the way CBI works at the personal, group and institutional levels to affect community-wide change."

The color chosen for the new logo, a rich bronze, was selected to represent the diversity of cultures and ethnic backgrounds in the Charlotte area, while the elliptical shapes connote movement, access and patterns of change.